Grand County rebuilds 6 months after East Troublesome Fire

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GRAND COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Six months after Colorado’s second largest wildfire burned through parts of Grand County, communities impacted in that area are already starting to rebuild what was lost.

The East Troublesome Fire lasted six weeks, but destroyed 371 homes and about 100 to 200 additional structures such as barns and sheds, according to officials.

But over the last six months, there’s been plenty of progress.

“It’s a moving target. One of the things we’re finding is that our full-time residents and some of the second home owners who consider the Grand Lake area their home, are moving forward very quickly,” said Steve Kudron, mayor of Grand Lake.

According to Kudron, about 120 properties have already been cleared, including the home owned by Judy and Sam Eberly.

They already started laying down a new foundation.

“Our community is going to be doing a community clean-up. There’s a group called ‘Adopt-a-Family’ and you can find them on Facebook,” Kudron said. “So ‘Adopt-a-Family’ on May 8th is putting together volunteer crews to do any type of clean-up whether it’s just debris clean-up or whether it is more foundational and there’s pieces of homes and other debris. We’re working diligently to get everything clean so the work can begin this Spring”.

Not only are locals seeing signs of the community rebuilding, but wildlife is returning too.

Plenty of deer, moose and other animals have been spotted in and around Grand Lake and Granby.

Communities like Grand Lake rely heavily on tourism dollars to survive.

In fact, 80% of Grand Lake’s revenue comes from sales tax.

Despite dealing with a massive wildfire during a pandemic, Grand Lake is confident this summer will be spectacular when it comes to attracting tourists.

“We expect all of those Denver visitors and the Front Range visitors to come back again. Because I think they’d like to see what it’s like not only after the fire, but also without having to have a mask on all the time. We’re also expecting many of our out of town and out of state visitors to come back,” Kudron said.

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